North Korea Missile Launch Tests Trump's China Outreach

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un waves to the Korean People's Army construction department officials in Pyongyang

Leader Kim Jong-un personally oversaw the test on Sunday, the official Korea Central News Agency said, and pictures by state media showed him gazing at the missile in a hangar before the launch.

Asked if North Korea's missile programme was developing faster than the South had expected, he said: "Yes".

The South Korean president has repeatedly pledged to seek dialogue with North Korea, having served as chief of staff when the last inter-Korean summit took place in 2007.

A South Korean government minister has said North Korea's missile program is progressing faster than expected, just hours after the UN Security Council demanded the reclusive country to halt all nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

In a statement released on Monday, the 15 members of the UN Security Council strongly condemned Pyongyang's ballistic missile test that occurred over the weekend.

North Korea's launch of a longer-range missile shows advances in its technological capabilities and offers the sternest test yet of President Donald Trump's strategy to work with China to combat the threat.

The U.S. ambassador the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said the United States believed it could persuade China to impose new U.N. sanctions on North Korea and warned that Washington would "call out" states supporting Pyongyang and target them with sanctions too.

The missile was first seen publicly in a military parade in Pyongyang on April 15.

America and South Korea led calls for fresh sanctions after Kim tested a newly developed Hwasong-12 ballistic missile on Sunday, which the dictator claimed was capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to the US.

North Korea is not thought to be able yet to make a nuclear warhead small enough to mount on a long-range missile, though some outside analysts think it can arm shorter-range missiles with warheads.

The missile was launched on an unusually vertical trajectory.

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One source said if two or three booster engines are combined, the maximum range would increase to more than 10,000 km.

Council diplomats say the United States and China, the North's closest ally, have been working on a new sanctions resolution. Pyongyang has since threatened a sixth.

Outsiders express more skepticism about North Korea's nuclear warhead claims.

After being fired from a launch pad in the Kusong region early on Sunday, the projectile travelled around 500 miles before dropping into the Sea of Japan.

They stressed it was in clear violation of the U.N. Security Council resolutions on the North that prohibits it from conducting any launches using ballistic missile technology.

Speaking Monday in Beijing, Putin said, "We are categorically against the expansion of the club of nuclear powers".

"The Secretary-General condemns the launch of another ballistic missile by the country, the Spokesman said in a statement".

China Foreign Affairs University worldwide relations professor Su Hao said North Korea had "to be held accountable and pay the price" for violating United Nations resolutions.

South Korea's Han said Sunday's test was "successful in flight".

The Russian premier said peaceful talks must be held to resolve escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

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